HERE we go again. A week ago today, the first minister stood up in the debating chamber of the Scottish Parliament and set out her plans for a second referendum on Scottish independence.

In what can only be described as a thinly veiled attempt to appease her party loyalists in the run up to their conference in Edinburgh at the weekend, she said that she wanted to hold another referendum on separation from the United Kingdom within the next two years despite little evidence of a significant and sustained shift in public opinion.

There is very little appetite in Scotland for a second independence referendum.

Back in the 2014 referendum, we were told that it was a ‘once-in-a-generation decision’ and that ‘Scotland’s future [was] in Scotland’s hands’.

Scotland chose and Scotland chose to stay in the UK. The SNP has never accepted this result.

They just will not let it go and accept that the fact that the people of Scotland voted to reject their political ambitions.

People in Scotland just want them to give it a rest and focus on the issues that matter to them.

Despite not having the powers to legislate for another binding referendum, she plans to push on regardless and introduce legislation that will provide the framework for a second referendum before the end of this year.

She also announced plans for a ‘citizen’s assembly’ to get the views from the public about the future of Scotland.

This is simply a gimmick. Scotland already has a citizen’s assembly – it is called the Scottish Parliament.

Perhaps it would do better to represent the wishes of the Scottish people and move on from independence and onto the important issues like education, health and justice.

There is also little logic behind the SNP’s suggestion that the UK’s departure from the EU necessitates another referendum.

From a political perspective, Scotland voted to remain in the UK under the full knowledge that the UK may hold a referendum on EU membership in future and then the UK collectively voted to leave the EU. One person, one vote. This is how democracy works.

From an economic perspective, the SNP’s justification makes even less sense. Whilst Scotland does indeed trade large amounts with the EU, we trade four times as much with the UK. It just does not add up to say that we need to leave the UK to protect business.

The Scottish Conservatives are the only party that can be trusted to stand up to the SNP and to defend our integral part in the United Kingdom.

Since the people of Scotland put their trust in us back in 2019, we have been providing that strong opposition to the Scottish Government that people voted for.

Ruth Davidson will be returning from her maternity leave this weekend as we look ahead to the next Scottish parliamentary elections.

We shall be setting out what a strong Scottish Conservative and Unionist government would look like.

A government that would stop obsessing over the constitution and would get on with the rightful task in hand of governing Scotland.